Originally Posted by Magdlyn
Arrow, I have read a lot about Mormonism and I know what a tight community it is. Now that you've left the church, have you been shunned by family and former friends?
You and your wife have been deeply programmed. Now you've broken away. I guess you won't meet many pagans in your area (Utah?) but there must be some around if you look online. Read websites and books about paganism and polyamory.
I can do nothing but recommend you go to therapy yourself ( a non-Mormon one of course!) and keep strengthening your resolve to find your self, follow your truth and your own bliss, with your wife, or not.
Mormonism is a very tight community. They have a built-in network that surrounds its members. There are a lot of advantages with that. But a major disadvantage is that they become myopic in their views. They really have little understanding of outside worldviews (like Paganism) or even of other types of Christianity for that matter. You would be surprised at the level of ignorance.
Have I been shunned by family or friends? There has certainly been an amount of that, but not outright shunning. Mostly, my extended family stays away from certain subjects around me. I know far more about Mormonism (and Christianity for that matter) and its history than your average Mormon. They know they can't intellectually debate me on such topics.
You don't just leave the church. As long as your family is in it, it is always there. However, I am a constant reminder to them that I don't buy-in to their beliefs. That makes it very uncomfortable for them. You can't have an honest conversation about beliefs. I wish I could.
Programmed?? You don't know the half of it! I have been unwinding my brain for the last 5 years from all the bullshit I was fed. Even though I am in a much better place now, I still deal with the fallout. The Mormon church is a cult, and like all cults, there is damage that ensues b/c of it. I am damaged somewhat. I know that. However, I try not to be a victim. I also try not to completely blame them (I take responsibility too for being clueless) although I do have some bitterness. It is a constant struggle for me. Some days are better than others.
I do not live in Utah but in California. So I know there are a lot of pagans here. I just don't know any personally. Perhaps they are afraid to come out?! I have been thinking of going to some meetups at Meetup.com. I am just trying to learn a little bit more to see where my current beliefs fit. If you have other suggestions, I would love to hear them. Are there poly meetups? I don't know of any. I am not even sure it would be appropriate for me to go given my situation. I am still sorting this out.
My current position in my beliefs is that I am sort of an animist. Meaning, I find a spiritual quality in all things, both animate and inanimate: people, animals, mountains, rivers, even rocks. I would have thought this was crazy 5 years ago, but my level of understanding has deepened regarding the natural world. Nature has always held a spiritual quality for me. I am just beginning to get glimpses of how much I have missed.
Thanks everyone for all your help and even for just listening. It is helpful for me just to write stuff like this out.